This summer, Tokyo Skytree will be home to a celebratory festival one of Japan’s most stylized creatures—the goldfish. The Sumida Aquarium will display its Edo-period fame in every manner possible: from cocktails, to lanterns to ice-cream, not to mention 31 tanks displaying a variety of species.
The event will seek to recreate the festivals of the time with food, drinks and a dramatic atmosphere, with every aspect carefully designed to help you transport back to the past. As you stroll through the wondrous central exhibition; the “Edo-quarium”, over 500 Edo-style wind-chimes and wa-lighting from 150 hand-crafted fish-shaped lanterns will recreate the atmosphere of times gone by. Here the 31 tanks hold beautiful varieties of goldfish, some familiar, some less so. The most famed are the Ranchu, which are referred to as the ‘kings of the goldfish’ in Japan and are most revered.
The exhibit has plenty of goldfish-themed activities for children and adults, with the little ones able to hand-stamp their own t-shirts with fish designs (500 yen). They can also create a goldfish-shaped lantern and although it doesn’t light up, they’re very cute.
Whilst not activities as such…cocktails are certainly fun—and the goldfish-themed drinks are available both in alcoholic (550 yen) and non-alcoholic versions (500 yen). Most excitingly however, is the Goldfish Soda, which comes in a small goldfish bowl you can take home with you (definitely classier than certain goldfish bowl drinks that may have surfaced from groggy teenage holiday memories). Filled with red-berries and sweet jelly, it is half drink, half-dessert and could go well with the ice cream—given it’s glowing hue by red grapes, not fish, you’ll be relieved to know.
Opening for a limited time (July 1st – September 30th) this will be a fleeting visit, so don’t miss your chance to see what some may consider to be an often neglected household pet elevated to emperor-like status.
Entry: 2,050 yen for adults; 1,500 yen for high school students; 1,000 yen for junior high and elementary school students; 600 yen for children above the age of three.Organizers may cancel events, alter schedules, or change admission requirements without notice. Always check official sites before heading to an event.